Wednesday, January 30, 2008

THX Lemur

I don't know if any of you have seen this, or if any of you are as taken by lemurs' eyes as I am, but you should definitely check out this video. Thanks to Greg Weeser* for the link.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Couldn't Stand the Weather

One of the many things I love about the Midwest, and Chicago in particular -- and one of the things I think makes Midwesterners more even-keeled and better-equipped to deal with adversity than people in other parts of the country -- is when the weather drops faster and more violently than Barbaro at Pimlico. Take today, for instance. As I write this (at 1:18 p.m.), it is 49° -- relatively balmy for late January. This afternoon the temperature will drop, after some snow of course (because God's funny like that). The low today will not be in the lower 40s, or even the 30s, 20s or teens. No, the low today will be 2, and wind chills are expected to be in the 25-30 below range tonight (for you assholes who live in warmer climates or those of you who have a marginal understanding of context or the English language, a "wind chill" is what the already-frigid temperature feels like when adding wind). For you non-math speakers, that is a potential difference of 79°. While I wouldn't necessarily want a heat index of 128° (i.e., what it would be if it went up instead of down), at least 128 would vaporize the various viruses, bugs, and bacteria that are spreading across my body like Mormons. 128 would be the New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri to -25's Utah. Too soon? Seriously, though, I think I have a fever, which may be the first time since grade school. I'm falling apart in my old age. It feels like Magnus Ver Magnusson and Bill Kazmaier are trapped in my cranium, back to back, pushing as hard as they can with their arms and legs in an attempt to cause some sort of fissure from which they can escape. Despite what Bruce Dickinson would lead you to believe, the cure is not more cowbell. So far, it's actually only made things worse.

Monday, January 28, 2008

ScapeGoat Ink

Well, add another 2 to the number of people I know who have started their own business without first consulting me or offering me a handsome, underpriced share of the business. The Myers Brothers (or the Brothers Myers, depending on whether you like making things sound unnecessarily weird), Nick and Mike (no relation to Mike, Michael, Mike, Michael, Michael, Michael, Michael, or Michael, but possibly related to Mike), have just started up their own online t-shirt website called ScapeGoat Ink, which is dedicated mostly to alcohol-related t-shirts and sayings from someone named Hans Götman, who may or may not be the inspiration for the Most Interesting Man in the World and who is not based on me at all. Check it out. Buy something. Oh, and if you’re thinking what I'm thinking, then yes, coloring carrots blue would make no sense at all from a marketing standpoint.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Poll - If the election were today, who would you vote for?

Well, we found out the answer to "What's worse, finding out that the woman you're banging is a man or finding out that the woman your banging is your sister?" The lack of participation shows just how repulsive a question it was. Out of the 11 of you who not too repulsed by the question or its consequences, 7 said that finding out it's your sister is worse, while 4 said finding out it's a man is worse. To be honest, I'm a little surprised that so many of you said that finding out you're having sex with a man would be worse than finding out you're having sex with your sister. A man could have had a sex change. Your sister is always your sister, you sicko.

With all this election coverage plastered all over everything, I ask you this: If the election were today, who would you vote for:
  • Dana Jacobsen (unlike many, she understands that it's a fucking roast; I assume her running mate would be Rick Majerus)
  • Heath Ledger (too soon?)
  • Stacy Peterson (I bet that'd get her out of hiding!)
  • Drew Peterson (maybe the Presidency would stop him from murdering his wives), or
  • Peter and David Paul (The Barbarian Brothers -- no relation to Ron Paul)

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 1/24/08

Thirtysomething male discussing Chicago's recent smoking ban: "I smoke a lot less now. I don't think there's been a single night I've gone through more than a pack."
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Evaedroppers: GMYH and RDC

In lobby of apartment building:
Thirty something male: "Well, sure, but if you're Muslim, you're saying--"
Cornrowed Doorman: "I'm sayin', if you flip the script, ERIC, killin' a Christian is just like killin' Jesus all over again."
--Chicago, Clark & Burton
Eavesdropper: RobD

Twentysomething professionally dressed woman on otherwise silent crowded evening rush hour train, speaking very loudly into phone: "If he ever comes to Omar's house again, I'm not even gonna say anything. The silence will be deafening. I'm just gonna say nothing, walk over to the counter, grab a bottle, walk up to him and break it over his head, and I hope glass gets buried in his face."
She then went on to describe how she put a girl through a coffee table at a New Years Eve party and dragged the girl down the hallway.
--Chicago, Brown Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Two fortysomethings talking very loudly during a basketball game about their college-age daughter that usually shows up with an off the shoulder torn sweatshirt over her tights (which are not pants). She apparently couldn't make it to this one.
Dad: "Do you know any good carpenters?"
Buddy: "No, why?"
Dad: "My daughter broke her bed."
Buddy: "Oh, um..."
Dad: "Must be more quantity than quality these days."
-- Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center, Section 127
Eavesdropper: NaviKate

Two thirtysomething males and a twentysomething female in a car, discussing dogs:
Male: "The best part about dogs is when you put peanut butter on your balls, they lick it off."
(pause for a few seconds)
Female: "I want a dog."
--somewhere in Northwest Indiana
Eavesdroppers: GMYH and Tron

Guy 1: "So what do you think about that girl I'm hitting on?"
Buddy: "Face 7.0, body 5.0."
Guy: "Yeah man, but if she hits the treadmill for six months she could be an 8 easy."
--St. Louis
Eavesdropper: Shep

A group of late 20s/early 30s men and women, before playing flippy cup, discuss what would happen if they got rich, and a male says: "If I ever get rich, Carol* would no longer be my wife."
--Chicago, Milwaukee & Erie
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Same male, at some point after someone farted during flippy cup: "Whenever I fart, I tell Carol* it's a slapper."
--Chicago, Milwaukee & Erie
Eavesdropper: GMYH

This is another one of those that's not necessarily eavesdropping, but it merits inclusion:
On a crowded evening rush hour train, a phone rings very loudly, playing "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)" by Enya. A straight male (with wedding ring) in professional attire takes the phone out of his pocket and answers it as if there's nothing wrong with his ringer.
--Chicago, Purple Line train
Eavesdropper: GMYH

So there you go. For those of you contributing, thanks and keep up the good work. For everyone else, I know you're overhearing some funny shit because some of you tell me about it, but telling me something funny when I'm drunk is not as effective as emailing it to That way, the world can share in your eavesdroppings, and not just some drunk asshole who skis extremely fast.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Watcha Lookin' At? You Don't Know Me Like That?

This past weekend, several of us, including, and completely limited to, me, Jester, Ari, Ashcraft, Tron, Magdog, and Tron's friend Derrick, went up to Crystal Mountain in northern Michigan (not the UP) to go skiing. Tron's family has a condo there, and he tries his damnedest to get a group together to go up there every year.
Jester, Ari, and I left after work on Friday. Our drive up there can only be described as an utter catastrophe. According to Google maps, the drive was a little over 300 miles, which should have taken about 5 hours. Things started out ominously when it took us 20 minutes to exit the parking garage. After a nice first hour and a half, we stopped at a Culver's in northwest Indiana. Our arrogance was palpable, as our order consisted of two breaded tenderloin sandwiches, a double Butterburger, two orders of cheese curds, and an order of fries. Why worry about heart disease when we would be in Crystal Mountain in a mere three and a half more hours?

It turns out that Skaði had other plans for us. Soon after getting back in the car and laughing about how our gluttony could not possibly bring about any adverse climatic consequences, traffic began to slow and a light snow began to fall. More and more cars for some reason began turning into the ditch and the dividers. This did not change for some time. What did change was the intensity of the snow. Plows and salt seemed to be less of a concern for the State of Michigan than they were for us.

After Culver's, I would guess that our top speed was about 56 mph, and that was only for a brief period of time. It was mainly in the 35-45 range.

I would estimate that we saw somewhere between 30 and 40 cars and trucks in the ditches or medians on the remainder of the drive. At one point, we came upon a freshly crashed Jeep Cherokee on its side in the ditch, so we stopped to see if everyone was okay. I got out of The Blaab and yelled, "Is anyone hurt?" I took their silence to mean "no," so I headed back to The Blaab because it was pretty fucking cold. Plus, the snow was coming down pretty hard and moisture can be murder on leather seats.

Included in those 30-40 cars and trucks in ditches and medians, we had the pleasure of actually witnessing several cars in front of us go the way of the Jeep (without the flipping or the blood). It's always fun to see cars cautiously going 40 miles per hour and not attempting to change lanes slide off the road for no reason other than they didn't eat at Culver's.

When we were near Grand Rapids, Jessie asked how much longer. When I informed her that we were almost halfway there, the look of solemn defeat in her eyes is one that I hadn't seen since I proposed to her.

At one point on US-131, the snow had completely covered the highway, and it was coming down pretty hard. I was going about 35 (half the speed limit), and all of a sudden, I got blizzard-induced vertigo. I couldn't see anything except the snow coming at me and all white on the ground. I took my foot off the gas and thought, "I could be in the middle of a field right now and I wouldn't know it." Luckily, this only lasted for a few seconds, as one of those nice little metal rods with a reflector on the side of the road made a much-needed appearance.

We rolled into Crystal Mountain at about 2:30 a.m. local time, meaning that from when we got in my car in the parking garage in Chicago, it took over 8 hours to get there. Thanks, Skaði.
Skiing itself required a little more effort than usual, on account of the single-digit temperatures. I had somewhere between layers 3 and 5 layers, depending on the body part:
-Feet - thin dress socks covered by thick ski socks covered by ski boots latched into skis
-Legs/crotch - two Durex condoms (you never know) covered by boxers covered by thermal underwear covered by flannel pajama pants covered by ski pants
-Upper body - thin layer of Vaseline and sea salt covered by a thermal long sleeve shirt covered by a long sleeve Bears t-shirt covered by a zip-up fleece jacket covered by my winter parka.
-Hands - anger covered by thin gloves covered by ski gloves
-Face/head - shame covered by ski goggles covered by a knit bank robber/Palestinian terrorist-style ski mask covered by an Astros knit winter hat and a neoprene face mask covered by my jacket's hood.

If installed properly, my layering was such that not an inch of my skin was left exposed. In fact, the whole weekend, the only parts of my body that got cold were my toes and my finger tips, and even that was only after being out for several hours. Only my eyes could be seen, and usually if you had the misfortune to see them, it was already too late, as you had been lanced by one or both of my ski poles. A lot of red on the slopes this weekend.

I should also note that whenever I go skiing, I carry a pocket full of loose sand, so that I can teach lessons to those skiers, snowboarders, and lift operators who choose not to wear goggles or sunglasses.

My approach to skiing is speed based, largely a product of the Pirmin Zurbriggen school of downhill skiing. I try to get down the hill as fast as possible, striving to appear aloof and out of control, even though I am neither. Turns are only used when necessary to prevent death or bodily injury to myself or the slower bastards who do turn that I tend to fly by, leaving behind me a cloud of snow and four-letter words. Saturday night Tron subscribed to my approach, and we went as straight down Buck (one of the black diamonds -- whatever) as straight and as fast as possible. Without any interruptions, we could make it from the bottom of the ski lift and back in 5 minutes.

We managed to watch the Lindsey Lohan/Chris Pine vehicle, Just My Luck, which I think was running on a constant loop on HBO. It drew us in, held us down, and mentally touched us in places that decorum will not allow us to discuss. Saturday night we also watched Waiting for Guffman, which may or may not have been the reason we often referred to each other as D'Artagnan for the remainder of the trip.

As you might expect, the conversation at one point Saturday turned to goats. Magdog did a little online research, and we learned that a castrated goat is called a wether. Immediately, our creative juices began to flow, and we came up with what we believe to be a very commercially viable game show: Wether or Not.

The premise of Wether or Not is fairly simple. Each show opens with a shot of a bunch of goats in a pen with numbers on their backs. Then, the voice of the host is heard: "30 male goats. 15 castrated. 15 intact. Ladies and gentlemen, this . . . is Wether or Not."

Contestants would then have 5 minutes in which to put each goat into one of two categories: Wether or Not. If they finish before time is up, they ask The Farmer how many they have right. After The Farmer -- who holds a secretive position much like The Banker in Deal or No Deal, only from a silo (and he just yells down to the contestant instead of using a phone) -- tells them, then they can choose to do some rearranging with their remaining time or choose to take what they have. The contestant can repeat this step as many times as he or she pleases, until time runs out. For every correctly guessed goat, the contestant wins that goat. If they guess everything correctly, they win $800, in addition to all 30 goats. If they guess everything correctly on the first try, that figure goes up to $12.5 million.

Alternatively, if there ends up being some sort of law preventing winning livestock on game shows, then the prize scale will be as follows:
-2 correct guesses = $500
-4 = $1,000
-6 = $1,500
-8 = $2,000
-10 = $2,500
-12 = $3,000
-14 = $3,500
-16 = $4,000
-18 = $4,500
-20 = $5,000
-22 = $5,500
-24 = $6,000
-26 = $6,500
-28 = $7,000
-30 = $12.5 million

As far as hosts, obviously Bert Convy would have added a quiet dignity to the show, but I'm about 17 years too late. I was thinking maybe a J.D. Roth or a Mark DeCarlo. It might also be a good opportunity to reintroduce John Davidson to the younger generations of game show viewers. Summer Sanders or Arleen Sorkin may be added as a co-host, depending on ratings needs.
Sunday brought another full day of skiing, interspersed with a Chargers playoff loss. At night, I introduced everyone to the 1994 classic, Twin Sitters, a coming-of-age story about Peter and David Falcone, twin body builders/aspiring cooks (played masterfully by Peter and David Paul, aka The Barbarian Brothers) who end up babysitting Bradley and Steven, the bratty twin nephews of a very powerful landfill trucking executive who is mixed up with some shady characters who will stop at nothing to harm him . . . and his nephews. In the end, Peter (who's always making things) and David (who's always breaking things) and Bradley and Steven teach each other a thing or two about respect, sacrifice, self-defense, and, most importantly, bandanas.

Twin Sitters -- which until 2005 was only be available on VHS, but is now available on DVD (Dudek, I'm looking your way) -- was brilliantly written and directed by John Paragon, who you may know as Jambi from Pee Wee's Playhouse or one of the militant gay guys who steals Elaine's armoire and accosts Kramer for not wearing an AIDS ribbon on Seinfeld. He also plays the part of the dastardly loan officer who refuses to give the Falcones a small business loan to start up a restaurant, despite the fact that they brought a sackful of their delicious food to the bank. If you think Paragon is the only big-name actor or actress in Twin Sitters, maybe you need a lesson from Bradley and Steven's teacher, Miss Newman, played by the inimitable Rena Sofer, who is most famous in my mind for playing Andrea Larson, Zack's love interest in Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style. Frank Hillhurst is played by Dallas veteran Jared Martin. The evil Stromm is played by none other than one-time (literally) James Bond, George Lazenby. It looks like there was life after On Her Majesty's Secret Service after all! You may also recognize the sniper (one of Stromm's goons) as Danny Lee Clark, better known to you and I as Nitro from the original American Gladiators. Perhaps most impressive about Twin Sitters is that the Paul brothers wrote or co-wrote all six of the film's original songs -- "At War with the Weights," "Shut Up," "Whatcha Lookin' At?," "The Babysitters," "I Ride my Harley," and "Brothers Forever" -- and performed "Shut Up," "Whatcha Lookin' At?," and "I Ride my Harley." To view the trailer for Twin Sitters, click here.

After Twin Sitters, we popped in Better Off Dead, but only made it halfway through either because everyone was tired or because the bar had been set too high by the previous movie.
The drive back took 5 hours. Thanks go to Skaði for taking mercy on us.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More New CDs

A couple other CDs arrived today, and

Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation. 4 Handrews.*
Much of the album was made without guitarist Brian Robertson, who, along with Scott Gorham, molded Thin Lizzy's famous twin guitar attack. I think Robertson's absence hurt the album a little. You may recognize the title track to this 1977 album from Guitar Hero II, or from the name-that-tune round at Rocks Tuesday night trivia about a month ago. "Killer Without a Cause" is yet another shining example of Phil Lynott's ability to tell a story through song about the underbelly of society. "Dear Lord" is pretty good.

Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning. 5 Handrews.
This 1983 release is the band's last studio album, and with my purchase, I am halfway to owning Thin Lizzy's 12 studio albums. Admittedly, I was a bit leery about getting this album because it was made in 1983 and, thus, I thought it might not rock as hard as their '70s albums. My doubts were smacked in the mouth with an open hand from the get-go. The album is full of hard rocking songs, many of which have a NWOBHM feel. The title track (also the first track) is a frantic, fast-paced rocker. "Cold Sweat" has some badass guitar work, and foreshadows much of the hard rock and hair metal that would soon be hitting the airwaves. "Somebody is Going to Hit Back" is solid, and "Baby Please Don't Go" (not to be confused with the Big Joe Williams blues song of the same name, most famously covered in 1964 by Them) sounds like classic Thin Lizzy. "Bad Habits" is a microcosm of my life. "Heart Attack" repeats the phrase "mama I'm dyin'," perhaps an unfortunate forewarning of Phil Lynott's untimely death a few years later due to the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. All in all, I was very impressed with the album. It's a damn shame the group broke up after this album and that Lynott had to up and die in 1986.

Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous. 5 Handrews.
Considered one of the better live albums around, I admit that my introduction to 1978's Live and Dangerous was less than glowing. You see, back in June 2004, Jamie and I went to see The Darkness in Columbus. I don't remember if it was before the opening band (The Wildhearts) came on or in between The Wildhearts and The Darkness, but there was a ginormous delay, during which Live and Dangerous was played over the PA all the way through. Twice. I no longer hold ill will towards the album, however, and it truly is a great live album. Among the highlights are "Jailbreak," "Rosalie/Cowgirl's Song," "Cowboy Song," "Baby Drives Me Crazy" (on which Huey Lewis -- who was in a band opening for Thin Lizzy on tour -- played harmonica), and "The Rocker."

*GMYH CD Review Scale:
-6 Handrews - Buy it now. NOW!!
-5 Handrews - Excellent album that you should seriously consider purchasing in the near future
-4 Handrews - Very good album that you should at least check out on iTunes
-3 Handrews - If you want it, download it illegally
-2 Handrews - Somewhere between Britney Spears and William Hung
-1 Handrew - Ashlee Simpson

-0 Handrews - PopoZao

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New CDs

Around this time of year, I tend to increase my CD collection on account of Jesus' birthday celebration and the concomitant reception of CDs and Best Buy gift cards. Here are the CDs I've acquired over the past month or so, in no particular order:
Sweet - Best of Sweet. 4 Handrews.*
In case you're unfamiliar with Sweet (or "the Sweet," if you're British), they were a British glam band in the '70s, who influenced many hair bands (listen to Mötley Crüe's debut album, Too Fast for Love, and the admitted Sweet influence on Nikki Sixx comes through pretty clearly on several tracks). "Ballroom Blitz" is Sweet's biggest hit, and an all-around awesome song. You may also know "Fox on the Run," which was featured in Dazed and Confused right after Hirschfelder throws the beer bottle in the air when he, Carl, and that other dude are walking down the street after Hirschfelder got whooped. Somewhere Mitch Kramer is touching his nose. And by "somewhere," I mean outside the Emporium. "Action" is a great song, which Def Leppard open many of their shows with (and which they covered on 1993's RetroActive). "Teenage Rampage" is another solid song. All in all, good '70s glam. My only beef with the particular album I bought is that it doesn't have "Hellraiser" on it (which Def Leppard covered on 2006's Yeah! with the help of Justin Hawkins from The Darkness). You know I love falsettos.

AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. 3.5 Handrews.
This 1976 release was AC/DC's third studio album. I pretty much bought this album because I wanted the song "Big Balls." I've always loved that song, and particularly Bon Scott's tongue-in-cheek vocals/speaking. The title track is a delightful song about a hit man soliciting business. I also enjoy "Rocker" and "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Around to Be a Millionaire), as both songs hit home with precision."

Bon Jovi - New Jersey. 4 Handrews.
I had this on tape for Lord knows how long, and it's about damn time I got it on CD (and thus into the Hair Band Friday rotation). New Jersey, as I'm sure you know, was Bon Jovi's 1988 follow-up to Slippery When Wet. I still remember the first time I heard "Bad Medicine," as my mom and I were heading up to Alpine Valley on Friday September 9, 1988 for my first concert ever, George Michael. I won tickets from Z-95 and said "holy shit" on the air. I was 10. I was a golden god. Anyway, obviously "Bad Medicine" is a great song, and "I'll Be There for You" brings back great memories of the sock hop we had in 5th grade at Cossitt. Sixth graders and fifth graders arm-in-arm. It was beautiful. I'd have to say my favorite song on the album is "Lay Your Hands On Me," and "Born to Be My Baby" is pretty solid as well. I didn't understand "Living in Sin" until a couple years ago.

Mötley Crüe - Theatre of Pain. 3 Handrews.
This is the Crüe's third album, and probably the weakest of their "classic" albums (which I would consider Too Fast For Love through Dr. Feelgood), which, if you've read The Dirt (which you should -- NOW), you would know is the feeling of the band as well. The blockbuster on Theatre of Pain is the hard rock ballad that set the standard for hard rock ballads, "Home Sweet Home." The other hit off the album is their cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys' Room." I also like "Use It or Lose It," which has a great fast-paced guitar riff and sounds like it could be on Too Fast For Love. Other than that, it's fairly uninspired compared to their other albums. But the cover does have a sweet frowning theatre mask with a pentagram on its forehead, crying blood.

Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town. 4.5 Handrews.
Here's my problem with Springsteen albums: I always end up comparing them to Born to Run. I shouldn't do that, because this 1978 follow-up to Born to Run is pretty damn good. "Badlands" has always been one of my favorite Springsteen songs. "The Promised Land" and "Prove It All Night" are good. I also really like "Candy's Room." There is some anger in this album. I like that.

Michael Jackson - Thriller. 6 Handrews.
I'm ashamed to say that I've never owned this album before. Getting past that is difficult for me, as it should be for you. I don't really need to say anything about Thriller, since it is Thriller. This is the special edition, which contains some bonus tracks and some interviews with Quincy Jones and the like.

Extreme - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Extreme. 3 Handrews.
You know Extreme as the group that brought you such ballads as "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted." Unfortunately for them, that pegged them as "soft," which is never a good thing for a hard rock band (which Extreme was). Anyway, aside from those two songs, this CD is a decent recap of their relatively brief run. "Kid Ego" is good. I also like "Decadence Dance" and "Rest In Peace." After listening to the album, they don't sound as hair band-y as you might think (although I would consider them a hair band). I'm not sure exactly how to describe their sound, but it's a little funkier than hair band.

Ratt - Ratt and Roll 81-91. 4.5 Handrews.
I think Ratt is kind of underrated. They only scored one really big hit ("Round and Round," which is a great song), but I really like most of their stuff. It's a bit sleazy, but maybe that's what I like about it. Steven Pearcy had a great rock and roll voice. "I Want a Woman" is probably my favorite Ratt song. Other solid songs on this album are "Slip of the Lip," "Back for More," "You're in Love," "Lack of Communication," "Dance," and "Shame Shame Shame."

Traffic - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Traffic. 4 Handrews.
I have their eponymous sophomore album on vinyl, which I've listened to anywhere between never and once. Nonetheless, they were a decent band -- led by Steve Winwood and Dave Mason -- with some songs that I like, so I figured I would get a greatest hits album. I've always enjoyed their version (the original) of "Feelin' Alright?" (the Joe Cocker cover is probably more famous). "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is another song I've always liked, and I always forget about "Pearly Queen." The other songs on the album are pretty good, too. With the adult contemporary shit that Winwood put out in the '80s ("Valerie" excluded, of course), you sometimes forget that he used to make decent music.

Van Halen - 1984. 5.5 Handrews.
This is another one I had on tape, but just finally got on CD. I remember listening to this album in my friend Sean Fitzgerald's house back in Spring, TX in '84. Jump kicks may have been involved. "Jump," "Hot for Teacher," and "Panama" are all classics. I am also a big fan of "Top Jimmy" and "Drop Dead Legs." Unfortunately, this would be the last album of the Diamond Dave era. Not that I don't like Van Hagar, but I definitely like the David Lee Roth era better.

*GMYH CD Review Scale:
-6 Handrews - Buy it now. NOW!!
-5 Handrews - Excellent album that you should seriously consider purchasing in the near future
-4 Handrews - Very good album that you should at least check out on iTunes
-3 Handrews - If you want it, download it illegally
-2 Handrews - Somewhere between Britney Spears and William Hung
-1 Handrew - Ashlee Simpson-0 Handrews - PopoZao

New Book - I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski

Well, I finished No Country for Old Men, and it was pretty good. I'd like to see what the Coen brothers did with it. I hear that they were fairly faithful to the book. Plus I want to see Chigurh's cattlegun and the corresponding holes it makes. For some reason, I was expecting a twist at the end. Frankly, I felt like the build-up was better than the payoff. It was good nonetheless, and a pretty quick read.

Anywho, from a book that the Coen brothers turned into a movie to a book about a Coen brothers movie, tomorrow morning I will begin reading I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You by Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Scott Shuffitt, and Will Russell. The authors are the founders of Lebowski Fest, which is finally coming to Chicago this year (of course on a weekend where I will be out of town -- fucking Nazis). Since The Big Lebowski is probably my favorite movie, I see no reason why I won't love this book. Mark it zero. Next frame.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sunday 12/30
We flew out of Milwaukee at the ass crack of Wisconsin dawn on 12/30. Why would you fly out of Milwaukee if there are two perfectly good airports in Chicago, GMYH? Well, fair reader, flights to Phoenix out of Milwaukee were approximately $200 cheaper per ticket than flights out of either of Chicago’s world-class airports. Furthermore, Milwaukee had non-stop flights AND flights that didn’t require a 12:59am departure on January 1. Thus, Jester and I rolled out of bed around 4:33am on the 30th, hopped in The Blaab (not literally, Kevin -- we spent most of the time sitting), and headed for Milwaukee -- which comes from “millioke,” Algonquian for “the good land.” On the bright side, there aren’t many people on I-94 at 5 in the morning, so the drive up was nothing short of magical.

In case you’ve already forgotten why I would be flying to Arizona on the golden birthday of Jeremy “Floppy Burrito” DeMuth, the Indiana Hoosiers were making their first bowl game appearance in 14 years, playing Oklahoma State in the Insight Bowl on New Years Eve. The Insight Bowl, of course, is held in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, on the Arizona State campus. I had sent out an Evite even before IU had been chosen by the good people at Insight to appear in their bowl. The response was breathtaking. Figuratively, that is. I am still with breath.

Anyway, already in Tempe were Ari and John (the latter didn’t even go to IU -- Coach Hep got him for sure), as well as Bruiser (my dad). Jester and I arrived around 11 a.m. I have to say that the ability to watch DVDs on a plane makes the flight go by much more quickly, and better yet, it takes your mind off the fact that you’re 38,000 feet above the ground in a giant metal bird being driven by a guy who’s probably still drunk from last night when he banged that waitress from the Skylark at his crash pad over on 53rd street. Having received the first season of 30 Rock for Christmas, I began to watch that from the beginning. That has to be the funniest show on network TV, Reba notwithstanding.

After checking into the hotel, we rang Bruiser, who unsurprisingly had several restaurants already picked out for lunch. We ended up going to Casey Moore’s Oyster House, a mere 1.7-mile walk from our hotel. Apparently Bruiser misjudged the distance as well, as he was more than 2 miles from the restaurant. No matter, as it was a great choice. The crab bisque was phenomenal, the dozen clams I got were dead, and the bloody Mary was made with Clamato, which gave it some extra zing. Sadly, this would not be our last encounter with a Clamato-based alcoholic drink.

We headed back to the hotel after a quick walk down Mill Avenue, which is Tempe’s main drag of bars, restaurants, and shops. We saw a dog wearing sunglasses. Only in Arizona!

We then received word that Jamie and Shepley had arrived at the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, I made sure to vigorously check my fantasy football team’s stats. You see, I was in the finals of the league I am in with my old co-workers in Dayton. After starting out 0-4 and 3-6, my team regained its focus. I stormed back in the final 5 weeks of the regular season, going 4-1 to secure a 7-7 record and a place in the playoffs at the #6 seed. The playoffs were all but mine, as I trounced through the #3, #2, and #4 seeds on my way to my first championship. My championship game starting line-up as follows:
QB - Donovan McNabb
WRs - Jerricho Cotchery, Nate Burleson, Shaun McDonald
RBs - Jamal Lewis, Kolby Smith
TE - Antonio Gates
K - Shayne Graham
DEF - San Diego

This is sweet redemption, as the team that I beat in the finals (Team Sedor) won the league last year after I traded him an injured Shaun Alexander (who I had used the first pick in the draft on, instead of LT -- nice work, me) for a couple badly needed WRs. Needless to say, Alexander came back from an injury and guided Team Sedor to the championship. Not this year. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, and my WRs often sucked, but I managed to stockpile a bevy of RBs that didn’t let me down. I’d especially like to thank Maurice Jones-Drew for showing up each week and for understanding why I didn’t start him in the finals.

Jamie and Shepley were able to share in my joy, and soon enough, Ari and John showed up with some celebratory beers. Sort of. Instead of pure beer, which everyone in the room has historically enjoyed, they bought a 24-oz. can each of Bud Light with Clamato and Bud Diesel with Clamato. Apparently, this “chelada” was dreamt up by Anheuser-Busch in response to the dreadfully terrible Miller Chill, which is also a chelada-style beer. If you’ve ever had Miller Chill, you know that it tastes like someone mixed beer with lime sour patch kids and salt. So instead of coming up with something that tastes better, Anheuser-Busch said, “Fuck it, we’re going with clams.” John happily doled out small hotel cups of the Bud Light/Clamato mixture. Up until that point I had never seen placenta in a clear plastic cup before, but that’s about what it looked like. And it actually tasted worse than it looked, but I guess that’s bound to happen when you combine beer with tomato juice, clam juice, lime, and salt. This shit was nasty. If you’ve ever wondered what the walls of a two-dollar Tijuana hooker’s womb taste like -- and, strangely, I know several of you who have explicitly said you do -- then just drink this. Sure, it costs a little bit more, but you’re losing your dignity either way, so you might as well go with the one where you can identify the chunks as clams. I actually just puked all over my keyboard. Most of it was poured down the drain, except for Shepley’s, as he took a perverse liking to it. Limey bastard.

Jamie also informed us that his eldest son, two-year-old AC, invented his own swear word: darsh. When he says it, he thinks he’s said a bad word, which I think is pretty awesome because he can essentially say “fuck” or “shit” whenever he wants to without uttering anything more than “darsh!” Brilliant.

Around 5, Wee Wee and Lesli arrived at the hotel. We had received word that there was a massive IU party at a bar called Dos Gringos. Thus, we headed over there. I love being able to drink in a bar with no roof in late December.

On the way in, we ran into Gibson (Dan, not Dean), Eckerle (Matt, not Tim), and Devo (the Pi Kapp, not those dudes with the flower pots for hats). Jared from Subway was also there.

We headed to the upstairs bar, which was less crowded than everywhere else and we had a nice view over the rest of the bar.
On tap, Dos Gringos had $3 “Gringoritas” and $3 Donkey Punches. As I’ve always known, the Donkey Punch would be Jamie’s downfall. It was a red punch with a decent amount of alcohol in it. Not too sweet. Not too strong. Just right for a Donkey Punch. I’ve always wanted the opportunity to say, “I’m getting a Bud Light for myself, and I’m getting my wife a Donkey Punch,” and dammit, I said it that night.
To add to the fun, a crew of fellow Pi Kapps showed up, including Judson, Fankhauser (or “Hollywood,” as Lesli has now deemed to be his nickname), Mellen (who lives in Phoenix), and Gupta (big, not l’il), as well as Judson’s cousin Zack, who had made the trip with Judson and Neil from LA. We knew they were coming, but we were pleasantly surprised to randomly run into Meredith (former IUSA president -- whatever) and her friends, and then into Brenner (who apparently lives and teaches in Scottsdale) and his friend Laura, who also went to IU.

Judson was not surprised to see us, but was surprised when Jessie goosed him.
The Donkey Punches flowed like wine, and good times were had by all. Eventually Holt and Katie showed up, as well as Calvin and Abby. Holt performed fellatio on a bottle of Corona.
As a result of this crude act, we were asked to leave, and we decided to go to The Tavern on Mill, as that was where there was going to be an informal IU get-together. Some of us tried to take a cab, since it was about 2 miles away. After seeing that there was a per-person charge posted plainly on the side of the minivan cab, I negotiated a $20 fare for 7 of us, which I failed to relay to the team. After a block, the Pope twins noticed that the meter was not on, and the cabbie informed them of the $20 arrangement. A short discussion ensued with slightly raised voices. After taking us approximately one block, he kindly asked us to exit his cab. It would have been about $3/person, but on principle, we walked the remaining 1.9 miles to the bar.

Before arriving at the Tavern on Mill, we stopped at a hotdog stand, where Holt ingested several pieces of meat, while the rest of us practiced moderation. We stayed at the Tavern for 30-45 minutes or so before walking back to our hotel for the purpose of sleeping.

Monday 12/31
The night before, I had been informed by Judson that they planned on tailgating beginning at around 9. Thus, I informed those staying in our hotel that we would have a goal of being there at 11. That would give us a good 4 1/2 hours of tailgating before the pre-game festivities started at 3:30. Around 10:45, I contacted Judson, and their new ETA was 11:30. Thus, we (meaning Jester, me, Wee Wee, Lesli, Jamie, Shepley, Holt, and Katie) headed to the In-N-Out Burger across the street from our hotel. I had never been an In-N-Out before, and only heard of its glories. I will say that it is a pretty damn good burger.

We then headed over to the stadium, and ended up getting to the tailgate spot before Judson and crew. Luckily another group was holding a parking spot for them, so when they arrived, we were ready to go. It was quite impressive. Packed into Mellen’s Cherokee were 5 grown males, 2 kegs, a cornhole set, a grill, and food. We were quickly informed that, after those guys left Dos Gringos, Gupta disappeared and reappeared at Mellen’s place at 6am. Apparently, he went to a casino alone and won $500. Just like any other Sunday night for him.

The weather was what I would consider the perfect tailgating weather: room temperature, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. Soon enough, the tailgate was in full swing, and it was pretty huge. In attendance (aside from the In-N-Out Burger crew) were Judson, Mellen, Hollywood, Gupta, Judson’s cousin, Doo Doo Brown, Garfield, Gibson, Eckerle, Chad Smith (I think that’s his name), Devo, various parents, and various other people who I did not know. Davidson would have been there, but he got snowed in in Vail. John and Ari showed up a while later with vodka, champagne, and orange juice.

About 1, several of us headed to a park about a half-mile away, where they were having a pep rally and where the Hoosiers would be doing “The Walk.” For those who don’t know, Coach Hep started The Walk when he arrived at IU. Two hours before kickoff, the team buses pull up at the street in the center of the tailgating fields in Bloomington, and the team walks through the fans to the stadium. They set it up so the team would do The Walk at this park, where a stage had been set up (from whence the Bare Naked Ladies would play later that night). Before The Walk, several people spoke, and we were informed that IU sold more tickets than the other three teams in the Insight and Fiesta Bowls (Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and West Virginia). We were the only school to sell out our allotment. That’s pretty solid, but also not too surprising, since IU fans seemed to be everywhere you went in Tempe, while OSU fans were few and far between. While there, we also ran into Brenner and Laura, as well as Meredith and her friends, and then after The Walk, we ran into Bruiser and then went back to the tailgate.

Also making an appearance at the tailgate were Matt “MP Willia” Williams and his wife Sarah, who live down there and apparently have spawned a child. Things were going swimmingly. People were getting drunk, people were playing cornhole, people were smiling.

But trouble soon surfaced with the tapping of the second keg. A seal in the tap broke, so the tap was nearly impossible to pump and, thus, was emitting no more than a trickle. The whole group came together to try to figure out how to fix it.
My favorite moment was when Judson asked Devo if he had a condom, and Devo reached for his back pocket automatically, without even giving it a second’s thought. He then claimed that he usually doesn’t carry them around, and, unfortunately, he didn’t have one this time. But the lightning quick reaction was priceless.

IU does not have an engineering school, but with some ingenuity, some gum, a woman’s hair band, and some duct tape, the tap was fixed in a mere 45 minutes. But there was still a problem. The seal was fixed, but there was no lubrication to pump it up and down. Now I know what you’re thinking, and, no, Devo did not have a bottle of K-Y with him. Gupta did, however, have a small bottle of lotion, which did the trick. As Judson exclaimed, “No one’s getting ashy!” A roar erupted from the crowd, the IU fight song was sung, and drank beer again.

However, it was close to game time, so we headed in soon after. On the way in, we met up with Laderach and his lady friend Amy, who were sitting with us in our group of 13. Get it? Play 13. 13 people in our group. There was no way we could lose.

The stadium was probably about two-thirds IU fans, and it was great to see. Also, they sold beer in the stadium. I’m not sure I’ve ever bought beer at a college football game, but I will say that I wholeheartedly support it.

Here's a picture of Jester, me, and Bruiser at the beginning of the game, blissfully unaware of what was to come. The concerned look on Laderach's face suggests that he may have known something we didn't.
IU raced to a 3-0 lead after their first drive, then commenced one of the bigger bed shittings of the year, getting themselves in a 35-10 halftime deficit and not forcing a punt until the third quarter. The Hoosiers did, however, win the second half 23-14 to go 7 1/2 and 5 1/2 on the year.

As an additional slap in the face, at 6:10 p.m. (during the third quarter) my Blackberry vibrated, indicating a new email message. It was from Evite, with a simple, mocking subject line: “Thanks for planning your event with Evite.” Fuck you, Evite.

Here's a shot of one of Oklahoma State's seven extra points.
After the game, Jester, me, Wee Wee, Lesli, Holt, Katie, Jamie, Shepley, John, and Ari went to the Denny’s that was attached to our hotel. It was about dinner time, but the restaurant was very empty. Our trip to Denny’s can only be described as a comedy of errors. Wee Wee and Lesli had been there the night before, and we had the same waiter that they had the previous night. We are still not sure if (1) he can read or (2) he actually worked at Denny’s.

We called him Pepper, since the first thing he said to us was, "I might smell like pepper because my co-workers think it's funny to pour pepper on my back." That’s a ridiculous thing to ever say to anyone under any circumstances. Do you know how much pepper you would have to have poured on you to actually smell like pepper? Pepper himself had not yet reached that point.

We placed our orders, and then made each other laugh out loud for the next 40 minutes. It should be noted that Wee Wee ordered “French” toast in addition to a salad.

At some point, none other than IU football legend, former NCAA rushing touchdown record holder, 1989 Camp and Maxwell Award winner and Heisman runner-up, and 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Anthony “Automatic Touchdown” Thompson walked in with his family and dined in the very same room as us. I’m pretty sure that, at 40, he could still start for the Hoosiers if he had any remaining eligibility.

Apparently being in the presence of greatness really shook the staff at Denny’s. Our orders came out sporadically and, every now and then, correctly. Holt ordered a milkshake that still might be being made. Wee Wee’s salad came out, I think. He also received an ominous order of herb toast. Frankly, there was nothing wrong with my Moons Over My Hammy, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

As time passed, and the likelihood of Wee Wee’s French toast appearing diminished, Wee Wee asked Pepper about it. Several minutes later, Pepper reappeared from the kitchen and explained why Wee Wee’s French toast never came out: "The reason why yours didn't come up is because the cook didn't cook it." Seems legit.

Pepper comped several people their meals and didn’t charge anyone at the table for our soft drinks. We got up to leave at about the same time AT was getting up, so we kindly asked if he would take a picture with us, and he kindly agreed, so we made some bastard Oklahoma State fan take our picture. Small victories. Once I receive the picture from someone, I will post it. Because you care.

After a quick refreshening, showering, and changing, we all headed out to the Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party, where they basically close off a mile of Mill Avenue and insert carnival games and 150,000 people. The bonus was that we got in free with our ticket stubs.

We headed straight for the stage, which is where Bare Naked Ladies would be performing at 10:15, which was also right next to the beer garden, so that helped. As expected, we ran into Meredith and her friends, as well as Brenner and Laura. BNL was pretty good. Canadians are always pretty funny.

Tuesday 1/1
At midnight, a sunburst dropped and I celebrated the ringing in of a new year for the first time in the Mountain time zone. I declared 2008 to be the Year of the Stink Eye. After a piercing glance at a passerby, we went to Tavern on Mill again, since it was the only bar with a cover less than $10.

After that, we went our separate ways. Shepley had to get up at 5 to fly home. I assume he’s dead. Holt and Katie rode the shuttle to the airport with Jessie and me. Katie’s flight back to Dayton included either zero or one stops. Holt, on the other hand, took a less direct route. His first stop was Page, Arizona, followed by a quick stop in Farmington, New Mexico, and then on up to Denver, before finally flying to Dayton. No, he was not traveling by bus.

Jester and I were on the same flight as Bruiser, and we three sat in the same row, where I watched some more 30 Rock for as long as my laptop had power. Upon our return to the Midwest, we were met by the bitter backhanded slap of winter’s white glove, as the temperatures were in the single digits in Milwaukee and not much better in Chicago.

All in all, a great trip, even though the Hoosiers lost. I was pleasantly surprised at how well IU fans traveled, but that’s bound to happen when you haven’t been to a bowl game since Mariah Carey’s “Hero” was #1 on the Billboard charts. I’m looking forward to next season, even without James Hardy, who will hopefully be in a Bears uniform next year, catching Super Bowl winning passes from Donovan McNabb.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Every time I look in the mirror I can't help but think how attractive you are."

Have you ever had that feeling that the woman you married is just a little bit too much like you? Neither have I, since, as far as I know, Jessie isn't funding rhino poachers or hiding cat corpses in our crawlspace. But apparently there may be an issue out there for some people, as a pair of long-lost twins in Britain unknowingly married each other. They were separated at birth and then adopted by separate families, and neither knew that he/she had a twin. They found out that they were twins AFTER they got married (and got the marriage annulled).

Sweet Jesus, that's a tough pill to swallow. "I guess that explains why little Billy is a cyclops." Seriously, though, can you imagine the absolute horror you would feel when you find out the woman you have been fucking for the past five years, who you think is hot, who you planned to spend the rest of your life with, and who you planned to impregnate several times over, is your sister?! Talk about an awkward conversation to have.
W (after vomiting several times): "I just got off the phone with Dr. Rosenrosen."
H: "What is it? Are you pregnant?"
W: "Not exactly. You're gonna want to sit down for this."
(H sits next to wife)
H: "What is it, honey?"
W (after vomiting again): "Over there would be better. And please don't call me that anymore."

The next hour would be much like when Ace Ventura finds out that Einhorn is Finkle. And it's not like you can console each other with a hug because now it's creepy. And then you would have to deal with your buddies asking you if they can date your ex-wife, "you know, now that she's your sister and all." I'm not sure I could recover from that. As Christoff said when I sent him the story, "I couldn't hang myself fast enough." Personally, I don't know if I could ever touch a woman again, not that any woman would want to be with me, since I had previously been married to my sister (which I assume is a deal breaker for most women). I would move as far away from her as possible, I would wear only black robes with hoods to hide my sister-fucking face, ravens and crows would land on my shoulders as I walked down the street, and I would haunt children. That's what I would do.

This, of course, leads to the inevitable question: what's worse, finding out that the woman you're banging is a man or finding out that the woman your banging is your sister?

Friday, January 11, 2008


After arriving back in Chicago from Florida on the 26th, Jester and I didn't do much over the next few days. We saw Juno -- the first movie we'd seen in the theater in almost a year. It was a pretty funny flick, and I would recommend it. Michael Cera, while he doesn't have a giant role in the film, is one of those people that can say pretty much anything and I'll laugh. Apparently the writer of the movie -- Diablo Cody -- went to high school with Bohmann and is, in fact, an ex-stripper, which may not be a shock to you if you're familiar with the title of her book, Candy Girl: A Year in The Life of an Unlikely Stripper.

On the 28th, we went to my mom's house for a postponed Christmas present opening gathering, after which Bohmann came over, and we watched half of the first season of Flight of the Conchords and the entire first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Jester and I took it easy on the 29th, since we would be flying to Arizona the next day. More about that once I return from "the Nasty" for Ashcraft's 30th birthday celebration.

Monday, January 07, 2008


The first trip that Jester and I took over the holidays was down to the Ft. Lauderdale area. Jessie's mom and stepdad have a timeshare down there, and this year, instead of getting everyone presents for Christmas, they bought us plane tickets to Florida. I gladly accepted.

A full, blow-by-blow recap is probably unnecessary, since much of the time was spent laughing our asses off at how warm we were. Jester, Ari, and I flew down from Chicago on 12/22, with an hour-long layover in Atlanta. Just enough time to get crunk.

The weather in south Florida was ridiculous. Low 80s during the day, and upper 60s at night. Thus, shorts and flip flops were worn at all times, even in the shower.

On our second day there (Christmas Eve Eve, for those playing along at home), Jester and I decided to rent a car, since there were a total of 8 people in our crew, none of whom are circus clowns, thus making it difficult to travel in one car. After a hideously long Avis line gave us time to contemplate, we upgraded from the Ford Focus to the Mustang convertible. The deciding factor was summed up perfectly by Jessie while screaming at the woman behind the counter: "That's how we fuckin' roll!" Convertibles are pretty cool.

At some point, it came to our attention that the Seminole Hard Rock casino was about 20 minutes away via motorcar or light rail, were there one. After dinner on Christmas Eve, Jester, Ari, Lizzie, Will, and I piled into Silvustang. The only other time I have mixed gambling with Christmas, the result was my largest gambling loss of all-time. Terrifying visions of the Hollywood Casino in Aurora on Christmas night in 2004 danced in my head. The only thing that prevented me from losing more than $500 that night was my daily limit on ATM withdrawals. Undaunted, I was determined to exorcise those demons by taking from the Seminole tribe a fraction of the money they have so mercilessly taken from the white man. Little did I know that this casino would suck balls. I knew something was awry when I saw no vertical roulette scoreboards that some people believe actually makes a difference in the next number that hits. People, even if red has hit 12 times in a row, it's the same odds every spin. Black is not due. Zero is not due. Double zero is not due.

Anyway, this "casino" only had a poker room and slots. That's right. No table games. No blackjack. No craps. No roulette. No casino war. Thus, I was relegated to lose a surprising amount of money playing video poker, a game about which I apparently know very little. I asked to speak to Osceola, but all I got were strange looks, but that might have been because my feet were bleeding and I was carrying a half-full bottle of bleach. My money was not returned to me.

One of the many advantages to our timeshare complex was that it was right next to some very nice public tennis courts. Tennis in December?! ¡Que rico! Jessie, Pat, and I hit the courts for what I assumed would be a round robin tourney. Rather than go with the more pedestrian hard courts, we played on the clay courts. I glided effortlessly across the clay, hitting backhanded winners like I had been personally groomed by Nick Bollettieri. My serve-and-volley was reminiscent of a young Laver, or so I've been told by myself. After Jessie retired from our match up 6-5 (she has personal issues with the tiebreaker system), I went on to beat Pat 6-3. Guys, I was beaming with unjustified confidence. This must have been what unseeded Lawson Duncan felt like months before his improbable run to the Round of 16 at Roland Garros in 1989. Be warned, Nadal. I'm coming for you.

We left sunny Florida the day after Christmas, and I haven't played tennis or gambled since, aside from my annual December 27 Bet-On-Yourself-to-Win-. . .-and-Live Tennis Tournament, a fundraiser where the participants bet a certain dollar amount on themselves, which benefits children under five who are both terminally ill and addicted to gambling. To date, we have raised more than $78 for these children, most of which has been pilfered away in cancer ward dice games and makeshift sports books. But if you could see the smiles on these kids' sometimes-deformed faces when they roll a 7, or when East Tennessee State beats the spread against Lipscomb, or when the kid across the hall that they bet on in the intra-ward death pool finally succumbs to Hodgkin's, then you would know exactly why we do it: the will to live is a hell of a lot stronger when you've got Washingtons on the line. By the way, if anyone is looking for me, I'll be in hell.

New Book - No Country for Old Men

On the advice of Greg Weeser*, I stopped reading Story by Robert McKee. I had started that because it was "suggested reading" for a film and TV writing class I'm starting this week at Second City. Greg informed me that there were better books on screenwriting than Story, and since his college diploma has the word "Tisch" on it and he has actually written at least one screenplay, I chose to follow his advice. However, rather than start another book on screenwriting, I went with No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. I haven't seen the movie, although I've heard it's excellent, and I’ve heard the book is excellent as well. I'll let you know.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 1/3/08

For the first MWE of 2008, we have a bountiful crop:

Guy in office bathroom stall, while shitting, mutters under his breath, but loud enough for people in other stalls to hear: "This is ridiculous."
--Chicago, Wacker & Madison
Eavesdropper: GMYH

4-year-old boy to babysitter, as boy’s 2-year-old sister is going to the bathroom: “Girls don’t have penises. They have holes.”
Eavesdropper: Ari

Twentysomething special ed teacher, after eating wings: "My hangnails are burning!"
--Chicago, O'Donovan's, 2100 W. Irving Park
Eavesdropper: GMYH

12-year-old boy to his teacher: "Chinese people sleep in drawers."
--Chicago, a public school
Eavesdropper: AlyK

Twentysomething wife to husband: “You should pick up the pipe.”
--Chicago, Kenmore & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

4-year-old boy farts very loudly earlier and says to babysitter, very matter-of-factly: "Its like a burp, but out my butt."
Eavesdropper: Ari

Secretary 1: “Well, I was pushin' it.”
Secretary 2: “Oh, so it's the cushion that you need. And the tightness.”
Secretary 1: “Yeah.”
--Chicago, law firm, Washington & Wacker
Eavesdropper: RobD

2-year-old boy, about his infant brother's umbilical cord nub: "It smells like poop and syrup."
--Springboro, OH
Eavesdropper: Mounty

And here is the Insight Bowl edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping:

Twentysomething female, after passing several ASU frat houses: "I would throw a lot of fruit if I lived here."
--Tempe, AZ, University & McAllister
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Guy on busy street asking for money: "Hey guys, give for herpes. It's the gift that keeps on giving."
--Tempe, AZ, Mill Ave.
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Late 20s male at fast food restaurant: "I TiVo Peoples Court."
--Tempe, AZ, In-N-Out Burger, 920 E. Playa Del Norte
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Waiter at Denny's, to table of 10 he is serving: "I might smell like pepper because my co-workers think it's funny to pour pepper on my back."
--Tempe, AZ, Denny’s, 650 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Wee Wee, Mounty, Holt, Ari, Jesterio, and others

Waiter at Denny's, explaining why a customer’s order of French toast never came out: "The reason why yours didn't come up is because the cook didn't cook it."
--Tempe, AZ, Denny’s, 650 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Eavesdroppers: GMYH, Wee Wee, Mounty, Holt, Ari, Jesterio, and others

Husband, on New Years Day: "I declare 2008 the year of doin’ it."
Wife: "Yeah, we'll be doing it like monkeys. Wait, do monkeys do it a lot? (pause) No, they just get AIDS."
--Tempe, AZ, Best Western, 670 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thanks to everyone who contributed. It was a pretty good showing. Keep up the good work. And remember, whenever you overhear something funny, email it to, and it will be included in the next exciting edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tattoo Me

As I alluded to several weeks ago, I got a new tattoo. I waited until it was almost fully healed before posting a picture, since no one likes scabby tattoos, except perhaps Purdue students who smell and/or eat scabs for $30.

Anyway, this was my Christmas present from Jessie in 2006. I had simply failed to cash in on it until now. As you may or may not know, I have two other tattoos, both of which I got when I was a freshman at IU.

I’ll never forget what my mom said to me when I got my first tattoo. It was back in September 1996, approximately seven days after I arrived in B-town to being my collegiate studies, and I got the lizard from the inside sleeve of The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun album on my upper back. When I told my mom, she said, “What if you want to model again?!” A lot of people don’t know that I was once a very successful model at the Sakowitz Department store at FM 1960 and Champion Forest Drive in Houston. I modeled some of their male fashions in in-store runway shows. This, of course, was when I was THREE. I left the scene in early ‘81 because there was too much pressure and everything was getting very druggy. Flintstones vitamins were everywhere. Soon enough it became more about getting stoned, eating copious amounts of Cookie Crisp, and bagging chicks than giving my all on the catwalk, so I gave it up, with nothing to show for it but a surprisingly high B-12 tolerance, some saddle shoes, and a couple paternity suits. Nonetheless, 15 years later (and even though all of my modeling was fully clothed), my mom assumed that modeling was still somehow a possibility for me, and backless shirt modeling at that.

But I digress. After thinking about my latest tattoo for nearly a year, I had a few possibilities, but ultimately decided on this:Yes, that is the IU seal, which shouldn’t be confused with Mr. Flappy, the IU Seal.

Purdue Stinks

Happy New Years, you Gregorian bastards. A delightful recap of the past couple weeks will be on its way at some point over the next few days. In the meantime, remember back when you were in college and sometimes when funds were low you would donate plasma, participate in psych experiments, or sell your body? Well the geniuses at Purdue -- a school statistically proven to be less likeable than tornados, Paris Hilton’s rotting vagina, and genocide, combined -- do something fittingly different. Big thanks go out to Ari for sending me the link to this article, entitled, “Purdue students sniff manure for science.” Despite what you might think, the article is NOT found in The Onion, but actually at MSNBC. Guys, every now something comes along that restores my faith in humanity. Like when I read articles about grad students at the college I hate more than anything else in the world who CHOOSE to smell shit from various animals. As if the thought of ugly grad students traipsing across the barren, desolate West Lafayette terrain, shoving fresh hog excrement in their faces for $30 wasn’t enough, one of the grad students interviewed had this to say: "Grad students are kind of poor. I've done worse than this.” What?! Worse? Seriously? What could be worse than smelling cow pies for $30? Eating cow pies for $30? Having sex with cow pies for $30? Getting raped by a cow for $30? Getting injected with mad cow disease while simultaneously eating and having sex with a cow pie while getting raped repeatedly by a cow that sings “PopoZao” for $30? Going to Purdue and paying money to do so?